In our Catholic ID leadership training each week, we make a group resolution. We share what we are going to work on to develop ourselves in faith life and discipleship habits. This week’s challenge is to examine encounters with the world at large, through God’s eyes.
“What Would Jesus Do?” was ubiquitous a few years ago and it bears resurrecting. What WOULD Jesus do? Has this become just another acronym to be parodied or do we ever sincerely wonder?
One of Christ’s biggest directives to us is to Love. Simply Love. Luke 6:31: And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.
God the Father loves us all deeply, unconditionally, and passionately. I frequently remind myself of the “all” in that statement. God loves us ALL; not just the folks who attend Mass each day or week, who give generously of their time, talent and treasure or who seem to walk in constant peace and joy. He loves every single one of us. He loves those of us who choose to play solitaire on our phones instead of praying. He loves those of us who are snotty to our family members because they have used up all of our spare patience. He loves those of us who, in our hurry to get to work on time, roll through the four way stop when it isn’t quite our turn. He also loves those of us who have big sins that weigh us down every day. Those who are convinced the holy water may start on fire if we enter a church.
What is the practical application of seeing with God’s eyes? What do I do when my feelings are hurt? I have some ideas – thanks to my fellow facilitators in training for their inspiration
First up is Prayer. I need to ask God to help me remember to pray when I encounter those people who I’d like to judge or lash out at. Then I need to actually pray “Father, help me to remember that you love all of us and you see value in each human being we meet. I don’t know why that person made that choice but please be with him as he goes about his day and help me remember that I am just as flawed but you love me too.”
Second, I need to remember the Pray magnet affixed to the back of my car. If you don’t have one, it’s worth getting (a google search will bring up many inexpensive options). It will make you a better driver. When someone does something that frustrates me, I remember that on the back of my car it says “Pray” and I can hardly make a rude gesture or furiously pass on the right if I’ve got that proclaimed from my car.
Third, I need to remember that everyone is carrying their own proverbial cross. A friend shared a video with me. Click here to watch. It’s a reminder that things aren’t always what they seem on the outside. The actions that may aggravate us most often have nothing to do with us. They are performed by a person who has his or her own pain and needs to be loved. We just cannot readily see it. God can.
So I have been trying to remember these things as I go about my day and I have found it works. When I recognize that it is not all about me and that others have their own struggles, it makes it easier to accept the little slights. When I remember to say a prayer for those around me, I cannot get upset. I feel compassion and I think the world could use more of that. Much more.
Parish Life Coordinator